Manchester City 0 Chelsea 1
Branislav Ivanovic’s goal gave Chelsea a stunning and potentially crucial victory in the title race.
It ended Manchester City’s 100% home record in the league this season and made a mockery of pre-match predictions that Blues boss Jose Mourinho would adopt defensive tactics against a team that has been lethal on their own patch.
Instead Chelsea, who hit the woodwork three times, consistently had City on the back foot with a superb display of flair, pace and attacking intent.
Ivanovic struck on 32 minutes, pouncing on the loose ball after Ramires’ shot had been blocked by Vincent Kompany and firing into the bottom corner.
A Chelsea goal had been on the cards as they had been cutting City open almost at will with their slick counter-attacking play.
They had gone close to going ahead when Ramires had an effort saved by Joe Hart after being set up by Willian, who blazed over with a hurried bicycle-kick as he attempted to score from the rebound.
And Samuel Eto’o hit the City bar from a tight angle in first-half injury time after the outstanding Eden Hazard had embarrassed Pablo Zabaleta on the left flank.
Yaya Toure shot wide as City made a determined start to the second half, but the visitors remained a constant threat, hitting the woodwork again when Nemanja Matic’s 40-yarder struck the frame of the goal.
Chelsea continued to press and went close again when Gary Cahill’s header from Willian’s corner hit the post.
They had to withstand late pressure as City finished strongly.
Petr Cech saved from David Silva and Stevan Jovetic, and Silva shot wide from Aleksandar Kolarov’s cross.
It was the first time second-placed City had failed to score at home in the league since November 2010 – and meant Chelsea moved level on points with them, two points behind leaders Arsenal.
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; David Luiz, Matic; Ramires, Willian (Mikel 90), Hazard (Ba 90) Eto’o (Oscar 83).
Subs not used: Cole, Lampard, Salah, Schwarzer.